Dijaj bil-Timman il-Ahmar (Chicken with Red Rice)


  • 3 lbs bone-in chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups hot water
  • 1 tsp Noomi Basra, ground*
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 to 5 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 3 eggs, boiled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the chicken pieces in the oil. Drain and transfer to a large pot.

Sauté the onion in that same skillet until translucent. Then pour on top of the chicken. 

Dissolve the tomato paste in the hot water, then stir in the Noomi Basra, coriander, salt, pepper and cardamom. Pour over the chicken and drop in the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

Remove the chicken and check to see how much water is left. You need four cups--if there isn't enough add a little. If there's too much, pour some away.

Put the rice in a medium pot and add the water. Bring to a boil, and let boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and give the rice a gentle stir. Then cover the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff and transfer to a platter. Arrange the chicken pieces around the outside of the platter and garnish with the egg slices, almonds and raisins. Serve with plain yogurt on the side.

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